Lactose Free – know your substitutes

Lactose is a sugar commonly found in both dairy and non-dairy products. It is broken down by the body by the enzyme lactase. However, those with lactose intolerance carry insufficient levels of lactase and thus are unable to properly digest milk sugars - causing symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Lactose intolerance affects approximately 75% of the world’s population.

However, despite the inconvenience of lactose intolerance considering the prevalence of dairy products around us - taking care to reduce or completely stop our consumption of milk may not be the worse idea. Although it has long been considered one of the core food groups - part of a healthy diet - dairy is not necessarily good for you.

It does not, as many believe, protect bones by reducing the risk of fractures. In fact, Prof. T Colin Campbell, professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, warmed that “the association between the intake of animal protein [in milk] and fracture rates appears to be as strong as that between cigarette smoking and lung cancer”.

It is a myth that milk must be consumed as a primary source of calcium. However, calcium is found in cereals, breads, rice and almond milk, soybeans, and leafy greens such as Kale and Bok Choy. Experts have actually said that the calcium absorbed through veggies and other plant-based foods are double what we would gain from milk. Dairy is also brimming with saturated fat, the consumption of which is linked to constipation, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, type 1 diabetes, as well as anemia in children. Research has further indicated that milk also may actually increase women’s chances of contracting osteoporosis and men’s chances of being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Dairy products have even been pinned down as one of the leading causes of acne, due to their high glycemic index.

Consuming dairy is unnatural for us, as humans, which is why such a high percentage of the population is intolerant to it. Most humans stop producing adequate amounts of lactase during childhood, our bodies were not made to be digesting milk after we have been weaned. It’s nutrients and benefits are not exclusive to milk - they can be found in other foods, which are more natural, organic and beneficial for your health. OrganicoGuru has a wide range of lactose-free products to choose from if you decide to veer away from often toxic dairy foods and take your health in a better direction!